Parramatta light rail works 'on track'

Dominica Sanda

Construction of Parramatta's $1 billion light rail is set to start by year's end and the NSW government insists it will be done on time and on budget, unlike the troubled Sydney CBD project.

The first stage of the project, which will connect Westmead to Carlingford via Parramatta's CBD and Camellia with a two-way track spanning 12km, has been given planning approval and is on track to be completed by 2023.

The government has shortlisted two contractors for the work and expects them to deliver the project "on time and budget", NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance says.

He confirmed on Wednesday that Spanish subcontractor Acciona, which is overseeing the construction of the CBD light rail, would not be involved in the Parramatta project.

"George Street was delayed because of the inaction of Acciona," he told reporters.

"We will not have this problem here."

Premier Gladys Berejiklian promised to closely monitor the project and would make sure businesses do not face the same disruption that hit businesses in the CBD, some of which have reportedly had to close down.

She would not say, however, whether compensation will be offered to affected businesses in Parramatta.

"We know some (Sydney businesses) are struggling and we will make sure that in Parramatta we will do everything we can to support all parts of the community during the construction process," she said.

She insisted Parramatta's popular outdoor dining area, known as "Eat Street", would become an "even better" precinct because of the increased foot traffic the light rail was expected to bring.